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The Disraeli Room is a hub for new ideas, commentary and analysis. ResPublica's blog is named after the great reforming Prime Minister of the nineteenth century, Benjamin Disraeli, and welcomes contributions from across the political, academic and professional spectrum.
The current debate around immigration amongst politicians and the media, which has become increasingly negative, has led to growing tensions within communities who continue to struggle with the idea of integration.
According to the concerned public bodies and much of the media, migrants are the bane of the NHS. In October last year an official report commissioned by the government, announced that the NHS was spending up to £2bn a year on foreign visitors and short-term migrants, with so –called ‘health tourists’ costing between £70m and £300m a year.
In 1946 a young, half Serbian, quarter Spanish girl arrived in the UK on a Cessna plane from Belgrade. She spoke only Serbo-Croat. She had seen her Jewish friends carted off to the concentration camps and her mother’s hair had turned white with the effort of keeping her alive during the wartime years in Yugoslavia.
In a co-ordinated demonstration of support for credit unions, over 40 Bishops visited or joined their local credit union in October. In the wake of comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the summer, churches and credit unions are working together to strengthen the provision of local, affordable financial services in the communities they both serve.
Thursday 5th December saw the Chancellor George Osborne deliver his fourth Autumn Statement to the Commons. Following a week’s worth of predications and the usual leaks to the media, to somewhat subdued anticipation the Chancellor used his opportunity at the despatch box to formally outline the Government’s plans for Britain’s economic future.
Lending to SMEs, or rather the lack of it, is one of the biggest impediments to a healthy UK economic recovery. Up until now, the Government has been relying on the methadone treatments of QE and the Funding for Lending Scheme (which, to date, has only served to boost the housing bubble) to keep our low-interest-rate-drug-addled economy going.
Given the political pressure over recent weeks and months it would be surprising if the Chancellor did not make an announcement aimed at tackling the increasing rates burden on businesses in his Autumn Statement this week.
I have just two wishes: something old and something new. Something new would be that The Chancellor could allow investors to include loan-based crowdfunding investments in their annual ISA allowance It is now possible to include unlisted AIM shares in your ISA allowance, and the Treasury is understood to be generally supportive of increasing the range of qualifying investments, potentially including crowdfunding, into ISAs.
Housing is breaking through as a mainstream policy issue more strongly than it has done for a decade or more. That’s primarily down to two factors; growing public concern around accessing ownership and the wider costs of living; and cross party recognition that this is not so much a problem, but rather a full-blown crisis.
There is no questioning that the most pressing issue in domestic politics today is housing. With millions of individuals and families waiting for social housing and many first time buyers priced out the market, it is clear that current housing policy is failing.
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